Every parent knows the strange things that can happen on a Sunday morning that prevent you from getting out your door and into the doors of church.
It’s a universal phenomenon.
The baby spitting up moments after getting her sunday clothes on. The preschooler who’s missing a shoe. The school-age child who is buckled in the car, only to remember they forgot the baby bottle they’ve been collecting change in that is due back this very Sunday.
This Sunday surpassed our usual Sunday slow-downs.
It started with Elianna. My 17-month-old’s nose started to drip blood out one side like a leaky faucet, just a I’m getting coats on the older two. By the time I reached her, she had smeared it everywhere and looked like she came straight from Nightmare on Elm Street.
We made it to church on time, but were slowed by a lack of parking and long lines at the kids’ check-in. When I sat down for the service, the announcements had just begun. I’m thinking, not too bad.
After church, I herd the kids to the car by myself, because Tom had been to first service, having played on the worship team. He left after he was done playing for second service to head home and shovel/salt the driveway for small group at our house later that night. So it’s just the kids and me.
The kids are buckled and I hear Eliza push the lever to close the automatic sliding door on our minivan–not unusual, however, the sounds I heard upon the door latching were quite out of the ordinary. Her screams still echo in my head as I write this.
Her hand was shut in the door. The 3-5 seconds it took me to find the button to re-open the door and free her hand were some of the longest in my life.
I generally think of myself as cool under pressure. But it took everything I had to contain the utter chaos I felt inside. I wanted to scream for help and tear my clothes. And I hadn’t even had my hand shut in the door!
So, I quickly find a friend who’s cell phone I can borrow to call Tom and tell him I’m heading for the ER, just certain that her hand is broken. Her crying is still pretty intense and the hand looks ugly. He agrees to meet me there. But, after returning the cell phone and having my friend look at it, things didn’t seem quite so bad.
The crying slowed to an intermittent whimper and the hand was now bending and recognizable.
After making an ice-pack with a plastic target bag and some handfuls of snow, we decide to go home. At home, Tom is waiting anxiously for us in the garage. He examines the hand and by now, it is swollen some, but moving well. And Eliza is cheerful.
But wait, there’s more.
I begin cleaning and vacuuming for small group. Pretty soon, Eliza comes upstairs saying, “There’s a big flood down there.” I think, hmmm, maybe Tom overflowed the toilet. Nope. Eliza says, “It’s in the laundry room. Daddy’s cleaning it up.”
Turns out, Tom had turned the faucet on in our utility sink in the laundry room. He was going to clean out our Bissel wet vac, which had been used the prior Sunday to clean up vomit (we were all sick), when he got the call about Eliza’s hand. He had quickly forgotten the water in the sink during the mayhem of the moment. Thankfully, he cleaned up the flooded laundry room, with no damage to the house.
And here’s my confession.
When he told me that he’d forgotten about the water turned on in the sink, my first reply was, “Oh, you went to watch the game and forgot about it?” Ouch. Nothing like assuming the worst and being 100% wrong. Well, I’m hoping for a very uneventful next Sunday. And if I can’t get that, I’ll settle for a Sunday sans blood, mangled hands or floods.
Do you have any Sunday stories?
Well, we’ve experienced nothing like that story. We once got stuck in the snow in our driveway (on the drift the plow had left) on the way to church and had to call someone to help us dig out.
This fall I was in the driver’s seat as I watched someone slam the door shut on Adelyn’s hand. Lacking the cool automatic door opener button, I had to run around to open the door. That was also a very slow 3-5 seconds. But no damage was done, nothing like your situation.
Next time, and I really really hope there will never be a next time, go back into church and find a doctor. Check the kindergarten room first. That’s where we got our church first aid.
Thanks for the advice on the kindergarten room. I’ll keep that info tucked away for the hopefully-not-happening next time.
you have me beat…i don’t have stories like that yet, but i am generally late, as you know, something i do work on…and this problem of mine has become worse with each child. this week we were too late for the church service and once we arrived for our sunday classes (after the service) it had been canceled.
Nope — unless you count the nursery teacher’s comment that we must live far away since we’re always running late! After that comment, I determined that I *would* be on time this week. As we pulled out of the driveway at the time we were supposed to be at church, I was a mess. When we got to church, I was “just in time” to help a friend’s mom who was dropping off my friend’s kids and didn’t know where their rooms were and to talk with a new friend who will join our shepherd group this month. So, in His gentle way, God reminded me that He is sovereign, even when I mess up and that I needed to apologize to my family for reacting in frustration.
Oh, I feel your pain, Sarah. Been there.
Actually, we rarely late to church as the kids were growing up. There were a few experiences that I won’t forget. One Sunday, Steve took Steph to Big Bear for pancakes before Sunday School. She vomited them up… Once, when Steph was driving, she turned into the snowy parking lot at church and ran into Craig William’s new red car… I was always impressed with Ryan. He always got up and was ready every time. We never had to bribe or plead him to go to church. One Sunday, we pulled out of the garage (the kids were probably in elementary school) and Ryan noticed that someone took the new basketball hoop net we had put on the day before. We prayed for “that person” before we drove to church.
Abigail, I love your insight, stories, thoughts, etc. It is fun reading your stories.
I agree….it always seems like there’s something that comes up as you’re walking out the door for church. Some of the things that have happened in the last year that come to mind…..poopy diapers (a few blowouts), car wouldn’t start, forgetting Bibles once we are already in the car, ice all over our car, etc. Your story definitely tops any that I can think of 🙂 Great post….I enjoyed reading it!
like 7 years ago when my daughter was one we couldn’t find her easter hat come easter morning…we had just had it………..it was really important to me at the time(though now i would be like screw the hat lets go,lol)so my husband while listening to me rant and rave i am sure…. helped me tear the apt apart to find the hat……after we had created a huge mess my daughter stood up from the shoe box she was sitting on and proclaimed”hat” ….she had hid it in the box then sat on the box,ahahahahahaha….we were very late for church that day!